Bowland & Pendle Walks
Date: 27th Dec 2005
Distance: 6.5 miles
Ascent: 1576 feet
Time: 3 hours 20 mins
Start Grid Ref: SD785442
A super (if cold) walk from Downham up on to Pendle Hill, one of the finest hills in the Pennines.
Route Summary: Downham - Worsaw End - Burst Clough - Pendle Hill - Lane Head - Downham
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: On a number of the walks I'd done in the Dales over the previous 20 months the outline of Pendle Hill had been prominent to the south and it had been in mind for a while that I really must visit it.
We were delayed on the drive out by mistakenly trying to de-ice the car using car polish - it is not a mistake I will make again!!. I chose to start from Downham rather than the more popular starting point of Barley as I had to satisfy my own vanity when Hannon described the approach from Downham as the connessieur's route.
There had been dire forecasts of snow in the east but it looked like it would be okay out towards our destination. However not long into the walk and before we had even made it on to the fell side there began a light flurry of snow. Fortunately it was only temporary though the initial climb was made in low cloud and it was also bitterly cold so it was with some relief that we huddled together in the large shelter on the western side of the fell to warm our insides with some hot soup.
Fortunately this was one of those occassions where the cloud began to lift the closer we got to the summit and by the time we reached it most of Pendle District was bathed in bright winter sunshine. The top was very busy and was also exposed to the bitterly cold wind that was blowing so we didn't hang around for long.
It was on the steep descent that I discovered that ice had begun to form in my beard. All the way down we enjoyed excellent views particularly towards the Bowland Fells while Pen y Ghent also made a dramatic snowbound appearance. Almost directly ahead of us were Waddington and Easington Fell which were a veritable patchwork of colours.
This was a good walk to a true landmark and a great viewpoint, whether or not it was the best route is something I hope to find out one day by climbing via Barley.